LAX website disrupted after pro-Russia hacking group targets U.S. airports
The Los Angeles International Airport website was inaccessible Monday morning after a pro-Russia hacking group listed LAX’s site as one of its targets.
A statement from LAX confirmed that portions of the public-facing website were disrupted. There were no disruptions to operations or airport systems. The website was restored shortly before 11 a.m., said Victoria Spilabotte, an airport spokesperson. The cause is under investigation; LAX notified the Transportation Security Administration and the FBI about the incident.
Killnet, a hacking group, listed 14 websites, including LAX and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, among the U.S. airports that it was targeting, according to reports.
L.A. Unified leaders say people should breathe easier over a hack that was largely unsuccessful, but some experts talk of continued cause for concern.
An LAX spokesperson didn’t specify a cause for the disruption or whether it was related to Killnet. A TSA spokesperson referred questions to LAX.
Killnet previously released a video supporting Russia and claimed credit for implementing a DDoS attack, a “distributed denial of service” attack in which servers are flooded with web traffic to knock websites offline, against a U.S. airport in March in retaliation for U.S. support for Ukraine, according to a federal cybersecurity advisory.
Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst with Atmosphere Research Group, said an attack on the LAX website is unlikely to affect airline operations, since every airline operates its own website.
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But he added that he’s concerned about what could happen if the group attacks other parts of LAX’s infrastructure.
“Depending on what would be attacked, it could possibly affect airlines, terminal operations, concession operators, or others,” he said in an email. “The attack on the LAX website should not be dismissed as trivial or inconsequential, unless and until it is proven to be so.”
Times staff writer Gregory Yee contributed to this report.
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